Property crimes include those that allege destruction or theft of property. While property crimes may seem less serious than crimes against people, most property crimes are punishable by jail or prison time.
Types of property crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Theft and motor vehicle theft
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal tampering
Depending on the crime, you may be facing a petty offense, a misdemeanor, or a felony. The level of offense is generally dependent on the value of the item(s) taken or the amount of damage caused.
Penalties for property crimes range from fines to prison. Restitution, or repayment to the victim of value of the item(s) taken or damaged, is frequently an additional consequence. When defending a property crime, it is important to carefully scrutinize the amount of damage and/or the value of the item(s) taken because this value assessment may be the difference between a felony and misdemeanor.